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Differences Between Males and Female Zebra Finches

Zebra finch cocks and hens can be told apart by their colours. This is known as sexual dimorphism. As in most birds where there is a difference in the appearance of the sexes, the cock is the most colourful. This is a result of natural selection over the last eight million years - the hens look for striking colours in their mates, amongst other things, and their own relatively dull colours help them sit on eggs without standing out from the surrounding foliage.

Zebra Finch hen and cock
A pair of Zebra finches

Cock Zebra finches sport several markings that are absent in hens - orange cheek patches, throat stripes, a black bar on the breast, and flanks sporting chestnut brown with white spots. Hens have grey feathers in these areas. Cocks have bright red beaks, with hens’ being orange; although this general rule can vary according to the age and breeding condition of the bird. Freshly fledged birds have the colour and markings of hens, but with black beaks, only blooming into their adult plumage after 90 days or so.

Domesticated Zebra finch colours vary across the different types and mutations, sometimes making these basic male/female distinctions less obvious.

Customer Images

I’m hanging around!
Male Zebra Finch


Kerry, 17 July 2023

This with males having red beaks is it possible for female to have a red beak the reason I am asking is because I have 4 baby’s in aviary I have not seen a females with it only ones one of the baby’s with baby’s have red beaks and bengalese have been feeding it as well I been told it’s they are grey cheeked black beaked zebra finches which would be fine if I had any black beaked grey cheeked ones in I do have some grey cheeked ones but not with black beaks I am so confused who the parents are I start to think it one of them then I look round and just one of baby’s is with another set of different ones so confused I been told zebra’s will cross breed with bengalese I am so confused who mum and dad it’s l did have one pass away a couple of months if that was the mum and males have took over and reared it I don’t know

Stewart, 30 March 2023

Which one is the mail and which one is a female?

Karen, 22 May 2020

what sex is a white zebra Finch with a black line across the chest?

Krishna, 20 February 2020

I want to know weather my finches is male or gemale

Nicolene, 21 December 2019

Please can you tell me how do I look at.the zebra.finches what is female and male like their mouths is the male red and the female orange